Sunday, May 30, 2010

Peony 2 WIP

Well, I have been working on another white ( :-) peony, but this time with a picture from Wet Canvas. I still have a large petal to paint, but I have fiddled too much with it tonight...I always do when I don't work in daylight. It is certainly no longer white!!! In the last thirty minutes of painting, I covered most of my whites:-( The big petal on the right hand side is too dark and heavy. The petals do not have enough delicacy and are way too colorful.  However, I like the buds...The picture was taken with a flash and the colors are not really true. I think that the painting looks somewhat better in real life.  Nevertheless, what do you think of it?

I hope that I will be home early enough tomorrow after work to finish it. I think that I am gaining confidence with flowers...I think that I should start a third floral right after this one to keep learning from my errors.

Have a great week, and for all my American friends who have a holiday tomorrow, enjoy!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

DVD Painting- Finish

Well, I will stop fiddling with this painting. I did not do a very good job with the yellow glow and the stamens, but I will consider this finished.
It may not look too much like Jacqueline Gnott's masterpiece, but I certainly learned a lot while painting this. I think I would now be ready to tackle my own peony and dark background. I highly recommend this great DVD, The Queen, by Jacqueline Gnott!

Thank you all for your patience and your support during this "virtual workshop" that I followed.

Now, what to paint next....?

I hope that you are all having a great weekend.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

DVD Painting- Update 2

There is definitely something wrong with my paper! I am using my favorite, Arches CP140lb. However, I am finding it blotter-like and almost fuzzy. I can think of at least two things I  have done that may have caused this;
- I sprayed my initial pencil lines with a charcoal fixative made by Pebeo. Jaqueline recommends using a workable fixative by another company....The spray I used may not be made to be painted on top of.  I certainly hope that this is not the case because I have used it on a complex half-sheet drawing of one of my next Venetian scenes.
- I used a hairdryer a lot and this also on top the dried liquid masking. I often use liquid masking, but not on such a large surface. Next time I think that I will use the masking film and use the liquid masking simply to seal the edges. This way, my pencil lines will not be affected.
-Most of my colors have been mixed with the black ( until tonight) and I find the black does not mix well - it is very heavy on the paper ( maybe my layers were too thick)

I  have started the petals. After a few petals painted with a cobalt and black mix, I have now switched to a cobalt and quin pink mix - it applies better than the black and it is more me. Now, I have to ensure that I end up with a unified look and not with 15 petals that seem to belong to 15 different flowers.

I can't repeat enough how I am enjoying Jacqueline's DVD even though my painting is not doing it justice:-) I hope that Jacqueline won't mind that I am showing my progress pictures.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

DVD Painting Update 1

I have continued working with Jacqueline Gnott's DVD on painting a peony. After the dark background, I have tackled the leaves on the right-hand side of the painting.

I have just realized that I have never painted leaves before - flowers and petals, yes; leaves, never! Therefore, I tell myself that this first try did not turn out too badly. My first mistake though was in misinterpreting the  drawing when I used the liquid masking: I painted background in a few places where a leaf should have been, and I completely misinterpreted the lines that represented a large stem. Ah., well! It is still somewhat believable.

I also lost a lot of the highlights that Jacqueline kept. I probably went much too dark on certain leaves. Jacqueline achieved her darks in about 2 or 3 layers max....I must have at least 5 layers in certain areas. The pink on the bud is also too pink; I will go back and put in some magenta to darken it a bit.

Anyway, here is the progress picture with all its imperfections and sloppiness.  The next step will be to finish the leaves, mostly on the right-hand side. I can't wait to start the petals. However, I have just noticed how white the whites are in Jacqueline's painting - I am using 140 lb CP Arches - Bright white. Is there such a thing as extra bright?
Added Monday, 1200pm:
On my monitor at work, I have just noticed that the image is too bright - in real life, the green in the background hardly shows and the leaves are more subdued. On my monitor right now, the painting looks really ugly while I like it in real life.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Painting along with DVD

As mentioned in my previous post, I have purchased one of Jacqueline Gnott's new DVDs, The Queen - the white peony.  So far, I have watched the DVD twice and have thoroughly enjoyed it: Jacqueline's easy, informal manner, her tips and her great painting.
Now, I have started to paint along. Jacqueline masks the entire flower so that she can focus on the background. My biggest surprise is that she uses tube black instead of mixing her own. I did not have any tube black, so started to mix my own to finally give in and go to my art supply store to purchase a tube of black.

Jacqueline uses many layers of glazing to achieve her very dark background: black with a touch of dark green here and there to create what she calls the "inner glow". She then removes the masking to work on the leaves, leaving the flower for the end. On the picture, the green is not very visible, but it does provide a nice glow behind the flower.

I have finished the background - I have to admit that I have never been able to achieve such a dark, even background before! I have removed the frisket, but I see that my edges were not as good as Jacqueline.  I also notice that some of my pencil lines are no longer very clear.... I will start the leaves later on today...however, I am not sure if I have Jacqueline's patience:-(

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day and other fun stuff

Happy Mother's Day to all mothers. I have just received a beautiful bouquet of flowers from my daughter and I am about to go and visit my 92 year old mother who is such an inspiration to me: she has her own apartment, she still drives, she cooks, sews and paints. And she never complains!

This past week, I was so busy at work that I had no energy left at night to paint. However, I did purchase a new painting gadget: a mouth atomizer. I tried it on an old painting and on matboard. I think that I will have fun with this new toy. I will post pictures of any successful experiment. Are any of you using a mouth atomizer for your paintings, either as the main technique or to add finishing touches?

This week, I also received a DVD that I had ordered from Jacqueline Gnott: the Queen - painting a white peony. I have watched it twice and now will probably do the "paint-along" with Jacqueline.

I wish you all a great week.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Golden Venetian Door on Red Bubble

When I finished Golden Venetian Door last weekend (see previous post), I really was not sure at first if I liked it or not. It was such a departure from what I usually paint. However, I have been looking at it all week and going back to it to add a touch of paint here, a shadow there...and I now really like it! And it's just been featured on Red Bubble.
I think that I will get this one framed professionally: at about 8". X 11", it should not be too expensive :-) I usually frame my paintings myself, with sectional metal frames and a plain mat, but I feel that in some cases a professional framer may be able to bring out more the best in a painting.

Any tips about framing watercolors?